Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cheerio! You're All Winners!

I know! What an odd picture for me to choose to head today's judgment of Sunday's Downton Abbey finale. With thousands of shots available that featured weddings and armpit-length gloves and sparkly headbands (not to mention plain old masculine beauty in every form of evening wear), why would I pick this one that features the children of the three Crawley girls?


Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hit you over the head with that message, but Julian Fellowes (the writer of the series) had no such hesitation, so we'll just get it out of the way. The times are changing, and George, Sybbie, and Marigold are going to be the ones who look for the Gutenberg Bible and order around the servant(s).

The rest of us, though, care more about what is happening before the times change. Did we end up with a happy ending? Were my predictions correct?

To the first question: A resounding yes. And to the second: No, not so much.

Bless his heart, Mr. Fellowes not only tied up every story line neatly, he tied them up with satin ribbons and ran around behind the various story lines throwing rose petals and confetti into the air and shouting "YOU are a winner! and YOU are a winner! and YOU are a winner!" a la Oprah.

Thomas not only survived his farewell-cruel-world moment, his downward slide ended in a swimming pool full of cream as he waltzed into the head butler's role when Mr. Carson developed (non-lethal) tremors in his hands that ended Carson's wine-pouring days. It's a win for everyone, as this forced retirement will let Mrs. Hughes have a few hours of peace and quiet at work before she has to go home and face Carson's complaining about her cooking.

Also a win for everyone: The ability of Edith's future mother-in-law to give up her insistence on Bertie marrying Snow White instead of Edith. This flexibility brought to you by "It's His House After All" and by "You Mean I'm Not In Charge? What Am I? A Woman?" Edith is happy, which is evidenced by the tremor in her whiny voice. (Oh, stop it. I'm a big fan of Edith, except for that voice.)

Mary and Henry Talbot were in the win column as he suddenly realized he HATED CAR RACING! Now that's an unexpected turn into Opposite Land.

Daisy and Andy? I refuse to call Daisy a winner, not only because of her total ineptitude in cutting her own hair (I'm pretty sure a chimpanzee with a pair of scissors could have done better) but also because she didn't realize that Andy was thoughtful and considerate and ambitious and kind but only took notice of him when he bared his forearms, at which point (hubba hubba!) he's suddenly good enough for her. Not that she's shallow or anything. SHUT UP, DAISY.

Branson and the magazine editor, Isobel and Lord Merton (Huh. Not the doctor), Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason, Molesly and Baxter, all of these are not quite married, but they're definitely rolling out the special carpet that heads down toward the altar as we anticipate a veritable revolving door of matrimonial ceremonies.

And finally, Lord and Lady Crawley. Ahhhh, the echoing quiet of a British manor house when it has become an empty nest. Well, except for several children, a continuing staff of at least eight or nine, and Violet dropping in for lessons on what exactly is a weekend.

My predictions for Edward and Cora? Eternal happiness, knitting, and finally catching up on Netflix.

Also, a blog.


  1. I watched the finale with a group of friends, all of us in tiaras. We all felt that Lord Merton's "pernicious anemia, oh wait not pernicious after all!" should have at LEAST been due to him being poisoned by his horrible son and daughter-in-law, and not just due to "Guess the test was wrong or something!" We also wished he'd kicked those ingrates out of his house, rather than leaving it himself, but whatever.

    We felt Bertie's mom's "I soooooo value your HONesty, who cares if you're the mother of a child out of wedlock even though I was saying all that stuff earlier that made it clear I would hate that beyond anything else" was...unrealistic beyond anyone's ability to willingly suspend disbelief.

    I was glad they kept Mr. Barrow, but I thought he should have just replaced Molesly, rather than replacing Carson. I wanted him to stay at Downton, but he didn't need to climb QUITE SO HIGH. Also, the family sure was casual about the change: "Carson's hands are shaking? Well, out with the old and in with the new! How nice for everyone, what what?"

    I thought it was BEYOND RIDICULOUS that Anna would give birth in Lady Mary's bed. She ABSOLUTELY would have walked down the hallway or whatever. It isn't as if one goes from "water breaking" to "unable to move" in one single moment.

    Well. We were all quite satisfied with the final episode, despite my apparent list of complaints.

    1. Yes. All of this. And I would add the kicking-to-the-curb of the doctor, who has been a wonderful and dependable character for all these seasons. And in spite of the necessity for suspension of disbelief on so much, I was absolutely delighted with the happy endings. My only regret is that I didn't wear a tiara. That's brilliant.

  2. I thought it was tied up OK, but the tying was done so quickly like someone reminded the author that it was only 30minutes until the end of the show and there were loose ends all over the place. Looks like Carson could have had some of these symptoms a show or 2 back. I am a sucker for a happy ending so I should not complain.